March 9, 1961

?

An hon. Member:

Would the hon. lady permit a question?

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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

I would be very pleased to at the conclusion of my remarks. The report which was made was one of great length and if the Minister of Labour has not seen it I shall be glad to lend him my own copy. He has been asking the house for ideas.

We are grateful to the hon. member for Assiniboia for putting forth Liberal ideas. We are grateful that he has finally seen the light after sitting in the house and listening to the hon. member for Essex East, the hon. member for Laurier and the Leader of the Opposition for a year, for two years, for three years, telling those hon. members who are sitting to the right of the chairman what should be done and hearing the answer that nothing is ever told you.

I should like to offer the Minister of Labour the report which was made for the President of the United States. This report deals with a great many things, beginning with the most immediate sort of aid to those who are unemployed. I have no means of knowing whether this television program was another divertissment or whether it was intended to be factual. Perhaps it is not even important enough to concern hon. members of this committee. The reason that lies behind it is one which causes disquiet to every Canadian, regardless of his political affiliation.

There are those in this country who are in need of food. They are not, we can all thank our Maker, in the ascendancy. I suggest this is because of certain measures which have been in force for longer than the four years for which this administration is responsible. They are the measures which have kept people from starvation. However, there are those who need food. In this country there are great surpluses of food. The Minister of Agriculture is always trying to give away these surpluses. I saw today that they were giving away some of the surplus to a very well respected young visitor from the minister's own province, who was here for education week.

We want to use our food, and particularly we want to use it for those who are in need. One of the proposals made was that food be made available, on a proper nutritional basis, to those who needed it. Another thing which is necessary is housing. Arrangements have been made in the United States with respect to long term mortgages, a reduction of interest rates and a number of measures which will put housing within the reach of those persons still employed.

There are page after page of proposals to assist in the reconstruction of industry, in its automation and in relocation of industry in the United States. One of the things which is possible in the United States is the direction of defence contracts. In the last few years

Supply-Labour

there have not been too many defence contracts coming into Canada. However, there are some. The Minister of Labour may remember promising at least one to my riding not long ago. That is another promise in regard to which he has yet to make good. This is a way in which certain areas that are suffering to some degree, particularly industries, can be assisted.

The government has available to it all the experts who can tell them what industries and what areas require a shot in the arm. Not only is the government in a position to do this, but it is its real responsibility. Too many hon. members opposite appear to think that to be elected once or twice is enough. They appear to think that in the achieving of office they have done all that is necessary. May I suggest to the Minister of Labour and his colleagues that it is necessary not just to achieve office but to do something once you have arrived there.

Ideas to deal with unemployment have been placed before this house. I have seen them and I have referred to them a number of times. Suggestions were made in this connection on March 3 and 4, 1960 by the hon. member for Essex East. Earlier this session, on December 19, as reported at page 953 of Hansard, the hon. member for Laurier detailed what was being done in other countries of the world, such as Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Great Britain. But the minister has not seen fit to adopt these ideas. Not only in this house, but across this country otherwise hon. members have been saying that there have been no positive suggestions from the opposition. I suggest that if the Minister of Labour is incapable of remembering from day to day what has been suggested, a collection will be taken up on this side of the committee and a list will be printed and placed before him daily so that he will not forget them.

In January of this year there was a great meeting in Ottawa the like of which it is not expected will be seen even this month. Here the people of Canada, through their representatives, put forward certain proposals. These proposals were of many kinds, dealing with many of the problems which lie before the Canadian people.

I had the honour to serve on one committee which dealt with some of the problems of unemployment. We passed a resolution which I realize hon. gentlemen opposite cannot have seen, since they are not liberally-minded Canadians. Therefore, I place on the record what the party I represent has declared it stands for in the matter of dealing with depressed areas.

It was said in that committee that a new Liberal government today would co-operate

Supply-Labour

with provinces and municipalities in providing tax incentives to encourage industries to locate in such depressed areas. It would see that more credit was available to business in these areas. It would help to finance power, transport and other basic economic developments. Through programs for urban and rural rehabilitation it would see that both credit for private business and money for public improvement was readily available. I commend these things to the Minister of Labour.

There was, in addition, a resolution to deal with accelerated depreciation, but of a kind not contemplated by this government. The resolution was to the effect that a new Liberal government today would use the proven types of accelerated depreciation in order to help all business firms, not just new ones locating in an area, that are eager to expand and to put in new equipment. Such enterprises would thus, at a time when they most need cash, be paying lower taxes than firms that stand still.

The Minister of Labour said both today and in a speech he made to the advertising and sales club in Montreal on February 22 last that things are being done by this government, and they are things which have been followed in the country to the south. I refer to a remark made by the Minister of Labour during the speech to which I have just referred when he pointed out that the measures now proposed by President Kennedy were gratifying to the government in that they followed pretty well along the lines of what it had been doing in dealing with a very similar set of problems.

I wonder whether the Minister of Labour can tell us at what time he or other hon. members of his government forwarded to the President of the United States the intelligence necessary for him to take over leadership in the United States and the free world with such dizzy speed. The Minister of Labour also told us in this and other speeches that it is only necessary to wait until the massive program of this government has had an opportunity to make itself felt on the body politic.

I say to the Minister of Labour that the country cannot stand any more of the effects of the last three years. If this government is not now prepared to be candid, to be frank and to make a real effort to get this country moving, there is the great possibility that when the people of Canada have the opportunity to say whether or not they are satisfied with this government it will be too late for those of us who have ideas and are prepared to put them into effect to do anything.

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CCF
LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

An hon. member to my right says "Call for an election". I notice that this is the hon. member who has said on a number of occasions that he will not be standing when there is another election.

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LIB
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PC

Jacques Flynn (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order.

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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

There are those of us, Mr. Chairman, of the official and effective opposition who will be standing but not to Your Honour's left following the next election.

That which has been done by the Minister of Labour is something rather shocking to this committee. The Leader of the Opposition today posed question after question to the Minister of Labour, who sat only a few feet from him, and the minister made perhaps the weakest statement ever heard in such a debate. He countered these questions today with an ordinary routine speech about an ordinary routine department with no sense of urgency and with no realization of crisis in the country. The Minister of Labour may be content in his job and prepared to accept that the underbrush is being cleared, and that the massive program is sufficient to restore Canada's unemployed to full employment, but those of us who sit on this side are not prepared to sit silently while nothing is being done. Whenever, over the years, anyone rose on this side of the house to speak of the increasing unemployment figures it was not for political advantage.

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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

I call the hon. members' attention to the numbers of members present in the committee of the number there might possibly be, and to the advantage that they might take in this chamber. This situation is impressed upon us because the members of the government appear not to notice or to care what is happening in the country.

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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

The only answer given to the country by the government was that we are glooming and dooming. We heard this again this evening from the hon. member who preceded me. Mr. Chairman, if glooming and dooming would put Canadians back to work those of us in the opposition would stoop to it. If what the government is trying to indicate to the people of Canada is that we are attempting to make them afraid and uncertain, that is not correct. We speak here in this chamber to those who at least temporarily

have the responsibility of doing something about it. I suppose that next they will adopt the famous remark of another democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said to his people in the thirties, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself".

I would hope that as yet the Canadian economy has not been allowed in the last four years to slip so far that it cannot be recovered. If it has then we have considerably more to fear than fear itself. Those hon. members who sit opposite have a responsibility to the people and a responsibility which will not wait. I would suggest that rather than hon. members on the front bench travelling throughout this country making speeches and suggesting that the success of that administration to the south may be laid only to the fact that it has adopted the program existing in Canada, they should be here in this committee dealing with this massive attack of which they have so often spoken. If this cannot be done-

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PC

Jacques Flynn (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member but her time has expired.

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PC

Frank Charles McGee

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGee:

I was wondering if the hon. member's enthusiastic embrace of President Kennedy's administration referred to the 50 per cent tariff increase on bicycles about ten days ago, and if she does not find this a little inconsistent with some of the suggestions made by hon. members in the front benches?

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LIB

Julia Verlyn (Judy) LaMarsh

Liberal

Miss LaMarsh:

It may be that it is part of this massive attack to which the hon. members on the opposite side have referred so often in this house.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I should like to ask the

Minister of Labour if it is true that a member of the national employment service took part in the television program about which he claims there has been so much complaint.

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PC

Jacques Flynn (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order.

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PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Starr:

No one has complained about the program and it is true that national employment service persons took part in this program. All I have done is attempt to give additional facts in order to keep the record straight.

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PC

Jacques Flynn (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

The Chairman:

Order.

Progress reported.

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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

March 9, 1961